Monthly Archives: September 2015

Zen and the art of watermaker repair

We never knew how good we had it. In those first days the beast beneath the forward berth was asleep, not bothering anyone. I believe the previous owner (PO) used the term “pickled”. We had a precious few hours of yacht orientation with him before he wheeled in a whirl of dust and with a hi-yo-silver he was gone. Who was that masked man? Tonto had no idea, but with so many maintainence warnings to worry about I asked Marce if she got that bit about the watermaker. She smiled wearily and said the watermaker was hers. I was relieved because I had never seen so many valves, high pressure hoses, gauges of all descriptions, cans of chemicals, and to top it off, very important looking instructions stenciled onto the seriously flaking painted sides of a two foot aluminum box filled with the business of desalinating saltwater. It was a “do this if you want to do that” kind of deal. It was leaking. Not badly but that can’t be good right? 

Our east coast adventure came in fits and starts but by the time we were anchored off Portsmouth, Virginia, waiting for still another attempt at autopilot ram repair, I despaired over lugging several five gallon jugs of water every day, you know, sneaking into the marina to fill the jugs, loading them into the dink, transferring them onto Escape Velocity, pouring the jugs into a funnel (siphoning hadn’t occurred to me yet). It was time to test our retention powers vis-a-vis watermaker orientation. 

First we had to de-pickle the thing, but even more painted instructions had flaked off the aluminum box in the interim. This is advanced stuff but we seemed to pull it off. Next the instructions said to test the high pressure cut off and we found the cut off point when the thick plastic filter housing blew up with a terrifically loud bang. The PO left us a spare housing which should have been a sign, but to this day we’re still leary of any elevated pressure readings. Things seemed to briefly settle down except for the daily, “honey, the watermaker is leaking” or “the filters need changing.” But we made good water.

First, at this point, a few numbers might help. We have a pen-like water tester, called a water tester, which measures, I’m guessing, salt in the water. Zero-500 parts per million (PPM) you are golden, 500 to about 700 ppm and your wife will say, “honey, the water tastes salty” but the rest of the world says drink it anyway, 700-1000 ppm and you ask yourself how thirsty are you?

In the early days our readings were in the 200-300 ppm range but we more concerned with high pressure, low output, and those instructions flaking off the box. Before leaving the USA we found ourselves in Fort Lauderdale, home of a well known Spectra watermaker guru. There are more self-described watermaker gurus in the world than you might think. Of course he can’t come right now, what guru could, but it sounds like a clogged membrane. A membrane is a long tube where I’m told the magic happens, ocean under high pressure goes in one end, pure drinking water out the other, with any luck at all. The new membrane changed nothing but our bank account. Our water quality continued to be good but the leak increased and output was in a steady decline requiring a new theory or culprit to painfully, laboriously take out and stare at. 

This was the script we followed traveling throughout the world until after motoring back to Central America to re-rig we realized that it was time for a major rebuild of our 15-year-old Spectra Gulfstream 400 watermaker, and our new guru in California had just the thing: a kit that replaced all the leaky bits with new simple bits. I bought so many hose barbs that friends started calling me “Hose Barb Jack.” I kind of liked that. The new plumbing fixed the leak but didn’t affect our output. Still, we were making good drinkable water until about halfway to the Marquesas when the quality started to yoyo from day to day. One day we made 400 ppm, the next might be 1200. It was hit and miss and sometimes even getting water as bad as 1,900 ppm, then sometimes 300. Our troubleshooting guide suggested worn out feed pump heads. 

A new watermaker guru in Tahiti had a new pump head for just three times what it’s worth, but as he pointed out, worth being relative to need, it’s a good price. Little change except to our bank account. By the time we found ourselves moored in Bora Bora I was back to lugging five gallon jugs of water back to EV while tending to Marce’s back at the same time. The new operating theory was that air was getting into the system, causing erratic quality, etc., etc.

Going back to Tahiti for a diagnostic CAT scan for M meant that the watermaker guru in Tahiti could actually have a laying on of hands and maybe fix this effing thing once and for all. Yes, I understand that Zen and the Art of Watermaker Repair states that there is no “once and for all” but let’s agree to leave it at “for the foreseeable future.” 

The Tahiti guru however is on vacation and if I’m lucky he might find a few minutes to stop by and take a quick peek before he sails his own sailboat over to the Marquesas. It was quick all right, but he didn’t see anything obvious. Why don’t you change that membrane? (Am I losing my mind? Have we recycled back to the beginning?) If that doesn’t work, replace the Clark pump. If that doesn’t work, replace the feed pumps, cause that number two pump is pretty sick. Maybe take it all apart, clean and inspect the brushes, and blow out all the carbon that accumulates inside the motor. OK, I’ll do that first. Wait, why is my wife laughing?    


So cleaning the pump didn’t do anything but at least I provided some comic relief. 


Filed under Uncategorized

The view from the side deck


Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Changing my tune

By now I think we’re all tired of hearing about my back, me included. I’ll just bring you up to date and maybe we can all move on and get back to the cruising life, although I guess this is part of it too. 

The two trips to the hospital last week wore me out and sent me back to bed to recover. I was in a funk, with Neil Young whining “Helpless, helpless, helpless, helpless” on the Great Tape Recorder in my head. Just that, over and over.  


A lovely lady named Ilsa from a huge catamaran down the dock came over and gave me a full-on shiatsu massage that really helped me relax. Meanwhile, so many people shared their stories of various disc injuries and almost all of them recommended the same book, “Treat Your Own Back” by Robin McKenzie. Download it, someone said, it really works. I tried. Apparently you can’t get the ebook outside the UK or New Zealand. 

I did find a website with the same name,, and wrote an email begging for a way to get the ebook so I could start to work on getting better. Dr. Paul Strube, a chiropractor trained in the McKenzie technique, wrote back that the ebook wasn’t available. He suggested I subscribe to the website and it would guide me through the McKenzie method with photos and videos. Sounds great, I wrote back, but I’m in a place with marginal bandwidth and can’t possibly watch videos. Even getting to the website took many minutes of painstaking downloading reminiscent of early dialup access. When I explained that text-only emails are the only reliable communications I have, Paul offered to talk me through the Treat Your Own Back process via email. Miraculously, within a few days of Paul describing the steps, the pain was reduced by half and I was able to walk and sit comfortably. Day by day I’m improving so much that Jack and I are starting to get our hopes up for continuing our passage-making this season. We have two long and potentially arduous stretches of ocean to cross before cyclone season begins and I want to be sure I’m past the worst of the back discomfort before we head out to sea. The jury’s still out on that.

For added reassurance, I went to see an orthopedic surgeon at the clinic right in town. I’m not in danger of doing any damage, he told me, and I should just let the amount of pain I feel be my guide on what I can and can’t do. Time will heal the discs, and he advised me to treat my back gently in the future. He stocked me up on various levels of pain meds and anti-inflammatories in case I need them. 

All of that is good news but of course I got a little ahead of myself and overdid it for a couple of days. We had a visit from our friends Meryl and Walter of Flying Cloud yesterday who came aboard bearing a beautiful bouquet of flowers and big hugs. We last saw them in the Marquesas and it was great to spend an afternoon catching up aboard EV, then walking to the Papeete market for ice cream. That was three days in a row for me walking through town and this morning I awoke more stiff and sore than I’ve been, so I have to remember to pace myself and take it slow. I’ll keep following the McKenzie steps with Paul’s guidance to realign and strengthen my lower back and I’m determined to achieve full recovery. 

So things are looking up and the new song playing over and over in my head is Bonnie Raitt’s “I Will Not Be Broken.” It’s got a better beat, that’s for sure. I might even be able to dance to it sometime soon. 


Filed under Uncategorized

That which doesn’t kill us…

I was wallowing in self pity when the email came in from Enki II with devasting news. Our single-hander friend Tim lost his boat Liberty Call on the rocks in Vava’u, Tonga, at the end of a hellish passage. Tim had to abandon ship in the dark of night and somehow managed to swim ashore in pounding seas with his important papers and his computers and spent a long stormy night sheltered in the rocks at the base of a cliff, watching his boat sink. The next morning he caught the attention of a dive boat and was rescued and taken into port where the cruising boats took him in and are caring for him. We’re so glad he’s safe and so sad that his journey ends this way.    

Liberty Call in Fatu Hiva.

We met Tim when he sailed into the magical Bay of Virgins in Fatu Hiva 12 hours after us back in April and the bond we formed with that experience grew deeper as Escape Velocity and Liberty Call shared other beautiful anchorages. So many of our best memories of French Polynesia include Tim and the sight of Liberty Call anchored nearby. We were also delighted to meet Tim’s partner Andra when she visited and we think they’re made for each other.   

Liberty Call in Hiva Oa


Tim and Andra in Hanamoenoa Bay

We waved goodbye in Bora Bora as Tim sailed toward Tonga and we fully expected to meet up with him in a few weeks’ time. But Life often has different plans and here we are, Tim without a boat, me without a functioning back, and diminishing prospects of crossing paths again any time soon. Still, we’re so glad he’s safe, and we wish him well wherever his next adventure takes him.   

Paddling over to wake up Tim in Huahine


Tim at Controller’s Bay, Nuku Hiva



Filed under Uncategorized

Yep, that’s it

Wednesday morning we lucked out. Our dock neighbor Laura of Sunrise had a rental car for the day and offered to drive us to the hospital. She had propane tanks to take in for refill and so did we, so we worked out a plan. Laura dropped me off at the hospital and Jack went with Laura to help with the tanks, then they’d swing back to the hospital and if I was finished they’d pick me up, if not Jack would come wait with me and we’d taxi back and Laura could continue with her long list of errands. 

At the hospital I quickly made contact with the doctor who’d seen me yesterday. “Didn’t my colleague see you?” she asked, puzzled. No, I told her. I’d waited six hours for the results and asked at the desk twice but never got results. She said she’d finished up my chart as her shift ended and the next doctor on duty was supposed to convey the results to me but somewhere the system failed. 

“We were very busy,” she said. It’s ok, I told her, I just couldn’t stay any longer. She brought me a copy of the results of the scan (in French, of course) and a prescription for meds to treat the pain and inflammation. 

The scan confirmed the quick diagnosis of doctor #1 in Bora Bora, the one Jack brought out to the boat when I couldn’t move out of bed. I have a herniated disc, putting pressure on the root nerve. No surprise there, as shooting pain in my lower back and down my legs has dominated my life for the past two weeks. Three additional discs are squeezed or bulging but aren’t putting pressure on the nerve. The good news is there’s no fracture, the vertebrae are fine, there’s no arthritis and no osteoporosis. I’m just pretty badly out of whack. 

The prescription continued some of the meds I was already on, removed one, added another. And because this is an ER and not a spine specialist, this doctor’s only concern was to diagnose and send me on my way. My next step is to consult a specialist who can give me a treatment plan and a prognosis. 

I thanked the doctor and the others who’d helped me and paid my bill. The fee for the doctor was $36 (compare that to what an uninsured visit to the ER cost in the States) and several hundred for the x-ray and CT. All in all, not too bad and at least I can now address a clearly described pathology intelligently. 

I limped outside for what I assumed would be a long wait but no sooner did I get settled into a marginally comfortable perch on a fire escape than Laura and Jack appeared not five feet from me. Perfect timing! Laura ran us back to the marina and once again I collapsed into bed to recover from the stress and discomfort of the last four days. Jack ran out to the pharmacy for the new meds. My job for the next few days is to get back on top of the pain so I can make another foray to find help from a spine specialist and get the healing and rehab started. 

As always, the cruisers rally around. It seems every other person I talk to has had a herniated disc at some point in their lives. I’m assured by one and all that it will heal and most likely I’ll be good as new eventually, but that unfortunately it takes a very long time. I know this from a rotator cuff injury that took a year before all was right with my shoulder. I thought it would never heal, but as Ken from Kia Ora put it, one day it dawns on you that the pain is gone and you can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened. I’m hoping for sooner rather than later. 

If we were in a safe and quiet anchorage surrounded by crystal clear turquoise water and good friends with nothing to do all day but heal, swim a little and enjoy the view I wouldn’t worry one bit. But cyclone season is looming in the not too distant future. Escape Velocity needs to be in a safe place outside the statistically defined cyclone “box” and I can’t see how I’ll be able to do a passage any time soon. Our options are limited from where we are. Everyone heading for the safe havens of Australia and New Zealand is already 1200 miles west of us. The rest will be sailing either to Hawaii, 2000 miles away, or the Marquesas, 750 miles to windward. We’re gathering information from all quarters and evaluating our options. Neither of us likes the idea of me flying ahead and Jack sailing the boat with additional crew, not just because we’re a team and we work well together and we know our boat so well, but also because neither of us wants to have a momentous experience without the other one. We know plenty of couples who do this for various reasons and it’s ok. It was just never on our radar and we have to examine the idea and decide if that’s the right thing to do. Plus, with my limited movement, the thought of having to negotiate new territory on land and with luggage without help doesn’t sound like much fun for me either. 

All of these worries are probably premature until I get some read on a treatment plan and how soon I can expect to see improvement. As it stands, we’re taking it one day at a time, putting one foot in front of the other. 


Filed under Uncategorized

Looking for answers

It was a day that started with hope and ended with both of us in a hungry exhausted heap nearly 12 hours later. 

We took a taxi to the hospital and arrived about 8 am. At the intake desk of the ER I handed over a note that Sue translated into French for me that outlined my problem and what I thought was important medical history, along with a sealed envelope from Dr #2 in Bora Bora, the contents of which are unknown to me. They took me right in and made Jack wait outside. After a few minutes a nurse and a doctor came in and read my note. The doctor examined me and was quite concerned about my inability to push upward against her hand on the top of my left foot. She ordered an X-ray of my lumbar spine. I was in a lot of pain all morning so the nurse gave me a shot of something but I don’t think it had any effect.

I had spent most of the passage from Bora Bora in our bed crying, not just from the pain, but from this stupid kick in the ass. I cried more over this injury than when we were dismasted because at least then we had a clear path and a foreseeable timetable to put things right and move on. With this, I have no idea how long it will take to get better, and my whole identity has been shaken. I consider my good health, my strong back, my flexibility, my physical energy, my control over my body, as fundamental to who I am. Take those away and I have to rethink my sense of self. I’m 64 years old and I’ve never had any health problems beyond a few sprains and broken bones. 

When my mother was in her nineties I accompanied her to the eye hospital for a cataract operation. The intake nurse ran through the usual questions. “And when was the last time you were admitted to the hospital?” she asked. Mom closed her eyes to think. After a moment, the nurse gently prompted her. 

“Was it within the last month?”

“Oh no,” I said, and looked over at Mom. At the sound of my voice she looked up at me, then to the nurse. 

“1951,” she said emphatically. That was the year I was born, more than 50 years before. These are the remarkable genes I was born with. 

The doctor didn’t see anything in my X-ray so she got authorization to do a CT scan, which they did about 1pm. After the scan I joined Jack in the waiting room where he was enduring the daytime programming on the local TV station, which he said consisted of some incomprehensible game shows, a couple of talk and call-in shows, and an afternoon of Telemundo soap operas dubbed into French. I had wisely brought my Nook so at least I could read and mostly tune out the bad acting and bizarre costumes. There was no food available anywhere, just vending machines for water, coffee, hot chocolate and Coke. It’s no wonder diabetes is on the rise here.   

 I was still sitting in a hard metal chair in the waiting room for the scan results at 4pm so I went back to the desk to ask about it and also asked them to remove the IV needle. They told me it would be a few more minutes so I went back to the waiting room. The place was now full, like any ER you’ve ever been to, with the hallways lined with patients in stretchers and wheelchairs. The waiting rooms were also nearly full. Sitting does not feel good, but lying across a few seats with my head in Jack’s lap got me into a reasonably bearable position. Two hours later I went back to ask again. Just a few minutes, they said, but after another hour I told Jack I couldn’t take it anymore and walked out. “But we’ll just have to come back for the results!” Jack said, running after me. “I don’t care,” I whined. It was just too painful to sit there and neither of us had eaten all day. 

By this time it was dark. There were no taxis at the hospital or on the streets. We started walking toward town and it actually felt ok for the first half mile or so. It just felt great to be out of a chair. Jack kept scouting for a cab. We were on a busy spur into town and the cars whizzed by leaving a dusty wake. We plodded on.

Then a nice Tahitian lady picked us up and took us the rest of the way into town to the marina. She asked where we were from and we know by now to say “near New York” instead of “Pennsylvania” because very few people have heard of Pennsylvania. She gasped, “It’s a sign! I’m going to New York!” and she told us how she had spent a few weeks at a language school in New Zealand and was going to do the same in New York this coming winter. She wanted to know all about New York and told us she even bought a heavy jacket. You’ll need it, we said, and when we told her her English is already quite good, she smiled brightly. 

We got back to the boat just before 8pm and I was never so glad to take my shoes off and lie down. 

To top the day off I got an email from the watermaker repairman. He just left the island and won’t be back until next week, so our hopes of a quick repair job went out the window. 

Tomorrow we’ll go back to the hospital and learn the verdict. 


Filed under Uncategorized

Tomorrow will have to do

He had that time worn, weary, heard it all before look complete with wispy white, gone to seed, unshorn, unkempt hair set off against a gentle, patient half smile seemingly embossed on his face. Sue from Macushla graciously agreed to come along to translate and hold my hand. After hearing Sue’s French translation of my meandering English explanation for this early morning consultation, the doc asked a question or two. No, Bora Bora has only an X-ray machine which would be a waste of time and money plus the discomfort to the patient…he let that hang in the air for a moment and then asked what she was taking. He had no argument with the meds, just that he liked this over that a little better but we would have to get our patient to Tahiti which has a brand new MRI. This would involve transferring Marce from Escape Velocity to the dink and a short, probably choppy ride to the Mai Kai dinghy dock, transferring our favorite patient out of the dink, walking through the club to the owner Teiva’s kindly offered car for a ride to the airport where we would have to find a way through the airport into an airplane where she would have to sit even though she hadn’t been able to sit up for our entire stay in Bora Bora! No this wouldn’t do.
Maybe a plan B was called for. 

I’m a simple man with a simple plan, which is to tuck M into our stateroom and drive straight to Papeete which, with any luck at all, should take about 35 hours, tie up Escape Velocity to the town dock marina and get M to the hospital. She liked the plan and as luck would have it tomorrow morning’s weather promised relatively calm seas and a window long enough to make it to Papeete the following day in the daylight if we could average at least four and a half knots. We hadn’t had a chance to install the redesigned masthead bit so once again the burden would fall to the Volvos. 

I’m not used to doing everything myself so everything had to be thought through carefully. The day dawned beautifully and I soon found our mooring gear comprehensively twisted around the mooring ball but with very little wind I was able to get it sorted and we were headed for Passe Tea Vanui, Bora Bora, by 6:30 am. I settled in for 35 or so straight hours at the helm. As you Escapees know I hate to go backwards, it just feels like defeat but just the same, this feels right. We need to know what is going on with Marce’s back or at least give it a name.  

 It’s always sad to leave a beautiful harbor and as I turned to watch Bora Bora fade into the mist this was no exception. We had a calm sea state as promised and a little current to push us along but I knew it would turn against us during the night so I kept the starboard engine turning over at a good clip monitoring the engine which will overheat if given half a chance so discretion was the order of the day. It was a balancing act of keeping M as comfortable as possible while maintaining a daylight arrival the following day and making sure the engine didn’t overheat. 

It didn’t take long before the motion of EV at sea hit Marce’s already overwhelmed stomach and in addition to enduring serious back pain, nerve pain, and nausea while taking handfuls of pills, from the sound of violent retching from the head, I could hear out in the cockpit it would be safe to say that you could add sea sickness to the butcher’s bill of this night’s torture for her. It would be a long night. 

Normally we do six hour watches at night but tonight my watch will never end so I concentrated on managing the engine and trying to find EV’s groove as the sea state evolved. There was no need to check the clock. During the night the wind picked up and so did the waves and countercurrent, all of which conspired to rob the piggy bank of our extra speed salted away during the day. 

Eventually I realized that I had to either raise the jib or start up the port engine for a little extra push. I wanted to get M to the hospital that day, but the wind as usual was on the nose so it was back to Doctor Diesel for the handy bloke.

I expected high winds and waves while coming out from the lee of Moorea which would be torture for Marce but for the first time in four crossings of this stretch of ocean it was realitively calm and we made reasonable time. Marce got permission on VHF radio to enter Passe Papeete and we tied up near our old slip at the town Marina. At 4:00 pm it was too late for a run to the hospital. Marce was in no shape to travel anywhere so tomorrow would have to do. 

Come to think of it, I was in no shape either.


Filed under Uncategorized

Behind the curve again

It’s in the nature of the thing. Loosey goosey, seat of the pants, “make it up as you go along” kind of thing. Of course we’re used to more of an “it’ll be that arm and a piece of that leg, sir” kind of thing. So when our rigger informed us that a critical part of our new rig had been redesigned to fix our struggling mainsail hoist we were delighted. There really is a problem, it’s been addressed and they’d be happy to send the redesigned part to us at no charge. Sorry for any inconvence. Of course in French Polynesia there isn’t a word for “no charge” but no one would even commit to a figure due to the capricious nature of the customs agents, bonding, tariffs, taxes, invented fees and chaos in general. Mack Sails knows the score and after due diligence we decided that UPS touts having their own agents, knows what “yacht in transit” and “no charge warranty replacement” means so we chose them. Mai Kai Yacht Club said sure just have them send it directly here. Very efficient on the U.S. side but as soon as the three pound box hit Papeete, Tahiti, things slowed way down. 

After several days of no action I ran CatNip down to the town ferry basin, locked up the dink to the cleat on the dock, walked over to Tahiti Air and after a good show of looking over the shelves they pouted a contrite Gallic shrug. Bouncing through the lagoon chop I pointed CatNip at Mai Kai YC where the manager made about a dozen phone calls only to find that our no charge three pound box had fallen into the grip of Papeete customs where a three step program would be required to pry our box loose from their grasp. Hold on, Teiva, the manager, had an idea. Do we have an agent in Papeete? Why yes we do. A quick call to Tehani, who would be happy to receive our three pound box for two hundred USD and another two hundred USD to release it, plus any taxes, etc. Fuggetaboutit. 

Emails began to fly back and forth between UPS, Cowan, their delivery service, and us. It turns out that there is a workaround which will cost roughly one third as much after taxes, duty, ect. They’ll get back to us with a quote. Three days later, quote in hand, I dinghy into Mai Kai YC, walk to the bank where I’m informed that one can only use Visa if one has an account at the bank but luckily there is an ATM outside. While scraping the last few francs out of our account at the ATM outside, I hear the bank’s hurricane doors slam shut. It’s 11:30 and the bank will be closed for lunch until 1:30. Two hours later with just barely enough headroom in the account, I walkEd back in the bank and paid the man, who kindly faxed UPS that they have scored and to release the three pound box which might show up in Bora Bora, which they abbreviate as BOB, tomorrow. The next morning the three pound box is a no show at Tahiti Air and I’m greeted with more Gallic shrugs. Why don’t I come back this afternoon? 

I broke away from tending Marce in the afternoon to run down the bay in the dink, tied up, walked over to find that Tahiti Air doesn’t have afternoon hours. Okay now I’m pissed, but I wondered if it was delivered to Mai Kai YC like it was supposed to be. No joy there either. I slowly putted back to Escape Velocity a defeated man.

Next morning I ran down the lagoon to Tahiti Air, tied up, walked over and voila, there it was, a three pound box from Stuart Florida on the shelf with BOB stamped all over it.

I was emotional.

Of course now I have to get this thing installed and nurse Marce back to health but after shipping a three pound box from Stuart Florida how hard could that be?  



Filed under Uncategorized

Holding power

I’m still flat on my back letting my poor disk heal but I can’t say it’s been peaceful. The weather has been abominable lately. The wind turned south and is gusting well into the 20s. The south wind means a long fetch up the lagoon and the boats here on moorings at the Mai Kai Yacht Club and nearby at anchor are bouncing and slamming in the chop as much as we would be at sea. The constant motion makes it hard for me to find a comfortable position, and we both had very little sleep last night, me because of physical discomfort and Jack because he was up every hour or so to make sure the mooring lines were good and that the dinghy was safe. We always raise the dinghy out of the water at night but since my back problem I can’t help him do it and it’s a two person job. So the dinghy bounces and slams just like the big boat and we just hope it doesn’t get swamped or otherwise compromised riding out there in nasty conditions. Luckily these moorings are inspected and safe so except for checking for chafe on the lines we feel it’s the best option for us. And you can’t beat the pretty good wifi. 

The Internet access has been my saving grace while I recuperate. I’m caught up with friends and family, I can participate in social media for a while, tap into the pop culture phenomena that I’ve missed over the last eight months of marginal access, and read back stories on news events that I’ve barely had headlines on for most of this year. Most of all I can dig around for more lost ancestors while I take advantage of newly digitized and available public records. Except for that whole back pain thing, I’m in cyber heaven. 

Still, I’d rather be Out There. We’re following the progress of our good friends on Enki II and Liberty Call, both en route to Tonga, and they’re not having a fun time of it either. Too little wind, too much wind, the usual stuff. I try not to feel left behind, but when our dear friends on Macushla leave probably next week we will really be in the company of new friends rather than old friends. That’s not a problem in itself, but it’s hard enough in this weird cruising life to say hello and goodbye almost in the same sentence so that when you’ve spent significant time in company with special people your bond deepens quickly and the goodbyes are so much more wrenching. For me particularly having close women friends feeds my soul and I will miss Diana and Sue more than I can express. We three are so much alike and needed no adjustment time at all to fall into a friendship that feels like it’s alway been there.  


I don’t like that I’m whining. I am improving, just very slowly. This is a life lesson in patience, a trait that no one would list under the heading Marce’s Best Qualities, so I will take it as such. In a couple of weeks we’ll have to make the Go/No Go decision, but in the meantime I’m tuning up my snark on Facebook. 


Filed under Uncategorized

The view from the back porch


Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized